The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
December 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 1980
The Mad Woman of Chaillot
by Jean Giraudoux adapted from the French by Maurice Valency
George Rawlins was, for several years, West Sussex County Council’s Drama Advisor. George influenced many of our members with his splendid series of courses at the County’s Lodge Hill education centre in the 1960’s.
Denis Picott – The Waiter
George Porter – The Little Man
Peter Joyce – The Prospector
Ralph Dawes – The President
Ronald Cheesman – The Baron
Sally Bacon – Therese
Lynn Lloyd – The Street Singer
Mo O’Neill – The Flower Girl
Neil Shepherd – The Ragpicker
Jane Vrettos – Paulette
Rebecca Kitteridge – The Deaf Mute
Jeanette Goode – Irma
Jim Biggs – The Shoelace Peddler
Brian Moulton – The Broker
Sally Pumford – The Street Juggler
Robin Lee – Dr. Jardin
Pat Moss – Countess Aurellia – The Madwoman of Chaillot
Nicholas Thorne – The Doorman
Tim Readman – The Policeman
Antony Muzzall – Pierre
Douglas Tucker – The Sergeant
Ronald Cheesman – The Sewerman
Joan Bearman – Mme Constance
Rosemary Biggs – Mlle Gabrielle
Daphne Thornton – Mme Josephine
Ralph Dawes – The President
Brian Moulton – The President
Douglas Tucker – The President
Peter Joyce – The Prospector
Jim Biggs – The Prospector
Tim Readman – The Prospector
Stage Manager – Brian Moulton
Assistant – Margaret Davy
Assistant – Jill Redman
Assistant – Susan Whittaker
Lighting – Frank Hurrell
Lighting – Andrew Theaker
Set Construction – Workshop
Set Design – Vincent Joyce
Front of House – Frances Moulton
Box Office – Barrie Bowen
Programme Design – Antony Muzzall
Programme Note #1: The Madwoman of Chaillot
Programme note: “The Madwoman of Chaillot offers an inventive and ‘practical’ solution to the problems of a world in danger of losing its joy. It is about something we can all understand, something important, something as much a problem in 1980 as when it was written in the early 1940’s, when Paris was occupied by the Germans. It is all explained in the mannered, yet fresh, light, youthful and enthusiastic style of the master, Jean Giraudoux, who has the uncanny ability to create in a completely realistic decor, a theatre of the unreal. His characters are schooled in the gentle stoicism, bearing their rôles with humour and dignity without ostentation, arousing our emotions courteously and delicately, entering our loves chiefly through the mind. It is delightful theatre – elegant, an evocation of power through poetry – a theatre in which the essential is spoken in a whisper.
To many of you George Rawlins will be a new name. George is the County Drama Advisor for West Sussex and we are proud to have him as our guest director. Everyone connected with this play has thoroughly enjoyed the rehearsals and working on this production. George has pushed, prodded and prompted us to greater heights and for this Wick says ‘Thank You'”
Programme Note #2: The Madwoman of Chaillot
The enormous casting requirements for this play bring a number of new faces to the Barn stage.
Mo O’Neill and Sally Pumford both joined Wick at the beginning of rehearsals for this play.
Lynn Lloyd is a very accomplished piano accordionist. Lynn teaches at the Portslade Community College and entertains at a number of charitable activities. Lynn is currently helping in the raising of funds for a muscular dystrophy sufferer.
Rebecca Kitteridge, a cousin of Jeanette Goode, joins us for this play and is finding that her studies of sign language whilst at Brownies is just what is required for the part of the Deaf Mute.
Jim Biggs, Robin Lee and Tim Readman, have all stepped in, with just two weeks to go, when Wick members were unable to fill the parts.
Our leading lady tonight, Pat Moss, has been back with Wick only two seasons. Pat has kept herself very much backstage, as wardrobe mistress, but could not resist the opportunity of playing this part. Pat’s last performance here was ten years ago. [Say Who You Are in 1970]
Publicity #1: The Madwoman of Chaillot
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: November 28 1980 issue – page 8
Text Header: “Pat is just mad about the part”
“Friends say that I’m typecast,” jokes Pat Moss, 48, who plays the ‘insane’ heroine in Wick Theatre Company’s version of The Mad Woman of Chaillot at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, next week. For Pat, it is a welcome return to the stage having stayed behind the scenes at Wick for nearly 10 years since her last part. In a production that runs from Tuesday to Saturday, she takes the title rôle of the woman who defies oil prospectors wanting to dig up the centre of Paris. “It’s a superb play,” said Pat. “I fell in love with it as soon as I read the script but it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the film version starring Katherine Hepburn.”
Theatre has been her life-long interest. She started on the stage when she was 15, trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and used to work in repertory up north. She has been with Wick for nearly 14 years.
To many of you George Rawlins will be a new name. George is the County Drama Advisor for West Sussex and we are proud to have him as our guest director. Everyone connected with this play has thoroughly enjoyed the rehearsals and working on this production. George has pushed, prodded and prompted us to greater heights and for this Wick says ‘Thank you’.”
Review #1: The Madwoman of Chaillot
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: December 12 1980 issue – page 2
Reviewer: Frank Horsley
Text Header: “Loose threads”
Not even as progressive a group as Wick Theatre Company under the expert direction of county drama adviser George Rawlins could trap every thread of meaning in Jean Giraudoux’s thought provoking masterpiece, The Mad Woman of Chaillot, at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, last week.
Giraudoux’s kaleidoscope of a work covers so many themes in such an avant-garde way that it would have been beyond almost any company to make the production a total success. On the first night, at least, large segments of Wick’s version rang rather hollow, not quite communicating the play’s messages in the manner intended. Many of the special effects missed more often than they hit. That is not to say Wick should never have tackled such a venture. The whole of the large cast must have gained considerable satisfaction from attempting so demanding a play and will be all the better for it in the future. Especially leading lady Pat Moss who marked her return to the stage after a 10-year break with a near faultless rendering of the title rôle. She mingled compassion with just a touch of truculence as the woman who saves humanity in a single afternoon by ridding Paris of all the greedy people intent on having the streets dug up for oil.
Particularly striking performances came from Daphne Thornton, Joan Bearman, Rosemary Biggs and Jeanette Goode as some of the madwoman’s accomplices. There was talented support from Peter Joyce, Ralph Dawes, Ronald Cheesman, Neil Shephard, Brian Moulton, Tim Readman, Antony Muzzall, Douglas Tucker, Dennis Picott and George Porter. Of the newcomers, Rebecca Kitteridge won the audience’s hearts with her portrayal of a deaf-mute, using sign language she had learned in the Brownies. Other welcome new faces were Lynn Lloyd, Mo O’Neil, Jim Biggs, Sally Pumford and Robin Lee.
Review #2: The Madwoman of Chaillot
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: December 12 1980 issue -page 7
Reviewer: N. H.
Text Header: “‘Mad’ Pat steals the show”
THE Wick Theatre Company easily captivated its audience last week with George Rawlin’s production of the Jean Giraudoux play, The Mad Woman of Chaillot, at the Barn Theatre in Southwick.
Pat Moss played the Mad Woman, who incidentally is not mad at all, save for the odd eccentricity. She certainly bears no resemblance to the incredible insanity of Mme Constance and Mme Gabrielle, played by Joan Bearman and Rosemary Biggs, who really excelled in portraying their characters as a cross between unreality and burlesque.
The Mad Woman is highly articulate, witty, eloquent, sensitive but rather naive character, who suddenly becomes aware of the evil in mankind and decides to free the world of all the wickedness, avarice and undesirable elements. She succeeds by trapping all the appropriate people in her secret vault where they suffer an uncomfortably slow death.
Pat Moss stole the show with her brilliantly spectacular portrayal of the Mad Woman. But all the cast of 37 were extremely competent. Peter Joyce was excellent as the prospector with the dead-pan face that never cracked for even a second. Other players deserving a mention were Robin Lee as Dr. Jardin, Neil Shephard as the ragpicker, Tim Readman as the thick-witted policeman, Antony Muzzall as the young romantic Pierre, Jeanette Goode as Irma, and Brian Moulton as the broker.
And congratulations to the props department for so excellently evoking the French joie de vivre.